The allergic student of even a few years ago might have had to take chances or just skip eating anything made in a public kitchen altogether.
Nowadays, many college and university dining halls have adopted signs that point out common allergens, while others offer frozen meals and special items like gluten-free bread.
A few others, including Brown University, College of the Holy Cross, and Franklin and Marshall College, have gone even further, opening allergy-free kitchens and offering made-to-order meals prepared by specially-trained cooks.
The University of Wisconsin at Madison has begun cataloging all its ingredients and the allergens in them. Students will be able to search a database to see if specific items or meals include allergens.
Matthew Greenhawt, an allergist and clinical lecturer at the University of Michigan, says he anticipates "an explosion of kids about to arrive on college campuses who have food allergies." But their attitudes toward those allergies are often apathetic or risky. Many who knew they had allergies intentionally ate those foods, often because they had yet to experience a severe reaction. "Our data suggest that there are students out there taking risks."
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.